Home > Credit Cards > How Much Do I Have to Spend to Get VIP Credit Card Perks?

Comments 0 Comments

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Don’t you love it when you get VIP treatment? It’s especially appreciated when you’re traveling and you can enjoy perks like priority service and upgrades to a better airplane seat or hotel room.

And as some frequent travelers know, the key to earning VIP treatment can be holding the right credit cards. Some credit cards offer elite status in hotel and rental car programs to all cardholders, regardless of how much they spend, and there are several cards that allow you to earn elite status with airlines and hotel programs when you reach specified annual spending thresholds. In addition, there are some cards that offer credits towards elite status when you spend a certain amount.

The Cards That Offer Elite Status to All Cardholders from Day One

Many credits only require you to open an account in order to earn elite status with a travel provider. For example, the American Express Platinum card (reviewed here) offers all cardholders both Gold status in the Starwood Preferred Guest program and the Hilton HHonors program, as well as elite status with Avis, Hertz and National car rental companies. However, cardholders will need to request these status upgrades individually. Mid-level elite status in hotel programs is also a feature of credit cards such as the IHG, Hyatt and Marriott Rewards card from Chase, as well as the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card (reviewed here) and the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as American Express, Barclaycard & Chase advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) 

The Cards That Offer Elite Status to High Spenders

Other credit cards only offer elite status to their highest spenders. For example, the new JetBlue Plus personal and business cards from Barclaycard offer Mosaic elite status in the TrueBlue frequent flier program to those who spend $50,000 on their cards with a calendar year.

According to Kristen Bowdoin, director of the JetBlue partnership, Barclaycard US: “The ability for cardmembers to earn Mosaic status solely from the spend on their credit card is a great example of how we’re trying to help loyal JetBlue customers get even more out of their JetBlue experience. Not every cardmember who loves JetBlue is an avid flier and this benefit offers them a new opportunity to earn Mosaic status beyond the required segments and flight points.”

Once earned, Mosaic status offers priority check-in, security screening and boarding as well as two free checked bags and free alcoholic beverages. In addition, Mosaic members have the ability to upgrade to Even More Space seats with extra legroom for as little as 200 points.

Holders of the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express (reviewed here) can receive Gold status by spending $30,000 within a calendar year. Gold status offers perks such as priority check-in, 4 p.m. late checkouts and room upgrades.

The Hilton Honors Ascend card from American Express offers instant Gold status, but cardholders can be upgraded to Diamond status when they use their card to spend $40,000 in a calendar year. Diamond status offers late checkouts, room upgrades and even free breakfast.

The Hilton Honors card from American Express has no annual fee, but offers Gold status after cardholders spend $20,000 in a calendar year. Gold status also offers late checkouts, room upgrades, and even free breakfast.

The Ritz-Carlton rewards credit card from Chase offers cardholders automatic Gold status in their first year, which they can maintain by using their card to spend $10,000 each account member year. Gold status offers guests complimentary room upgrades, late checkouts and exclusive point bonuses. Furthermore, you can reach their Platinum Elite status when you use your card to spend $75,000 per account year, which offers cardholders bonus points, an arrival gift, room guarantees and two complimentary nights at The Ritz-Carlton.

The Cards That Speed Up Your Path Elite Status

Finally, there are several cards that don’t necessarily offer elite status for spending alone, but offer points, miles or night-stay credits towards elite status that can be combined with other qualifications to help you reach elite status sooner. For example, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card from American Express offers 15,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) after cardholders spend $30,000 in a calendar year, and another 15,000 MQMs after reaching $60,000 of spending in a year. Likewise, the American Airlines AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard from Citi offers 10,000 elite qualifying miles after spending $40,000 within a calendar year. Finally, the Hyatt credit card from Chase offers two stay credits and five night credits toward Diamond status upon spending $20,000 in a calendar year, and an additional three stay credits and five night credits toward Diamond status upon spending $40,000 total in each calendar year.

By choosing the right credit card for your purchases, you can receive VIP treatment when you travel even sooner that you might have thought you could. But before you set your heart on a credit card and its potential travel benefits, remember that rewards cards are often only available to consumers with good credit. Take a few minutes to check your credit (you can get two free credit scores every 30 days on Credit.com) and research credit cards that may suit you best before applying for anything.

Image: Digital Vision

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team